A busy Friday night, decades ago. Photo: Steve Liss/LIFE/Getty

As Amazon's market power has sunk big box stores left and right, Walmart seemed next in line for a big hit. But the 56-year-old legacy retailer has been surprisingly nimble as it stares down the formidable everything store.

Driving the news: Walmart today easily beat earnings expectations for Q4 of 2018, giving its stock a 5% boost at one stage. The company reported a whopping 43% year-over-year increase in online sales — for the second quarter in a row.

Backdrop: When Walmart and its big box peers were struggling to compete with Amazon, Walmart took risks by pouring money into sprucing up its stores and spending big to acquire Jet.com, the e-commerce business.

  • The company took a temporary hit to invest in itself, says Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail. And now it's paying off.

What's next: In a note to investors, Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea said he expects Walmart to keep dominating retail in 2019. The company will "continue to flex its muscle across multiple product categories," he said.

Go deeper: Walmart, the anti-Amazon

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Appeals court allows House Democrats to continue lawsuit for Don McGahn testimony

Don McGahn in an October 2018 Cabinet meeting. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A D.C. appeals court on Friday allowed House Democrats to continue their case for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn before the House Judiciary Committee.

Why it matters: The ruling has broader implications beyond this specific instance, agreeing that Congress has the standing to sue to enforce subpoenas against executive branch officials even if the White House refuses to comply.

There's little consensus on TikTok's specific national security threat

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

TikTok has become a Rorschach test for how U.S. politicians view China, with little consensus on the specifics of its threat to homeland security.

The big picture: Much of what D.C. fears about TikTok is fear itself, and that's reflected in President Trump's executive order to ban the app by Sept. 20 if it's not sold by parent company ByteDance — alongside another focused on Chinese messaging app WeChat and its parent company Tencent.

U.S. sanctions Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.